Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Small Snippet From The Code Of Armor Sequel

Here's a small snippet from the sequel to Code Of Armor, which is tentatively titled "Code Of Armor: Breakthrough."

Helpful hint: Some people might call an unplanned chapter ahead of the main story a tacked-on prologue.  I call it a "Chapter Zero!"  Heh. ;)


     They were the last survivors of their unit, but the contract was fat, and the completion bonus even fatter.  A pressing mixture of greed and bloodlust urged them deeper into the target facility.  This was an ugly situation, but they'd pulled through worse.  On the upside, with just the six of them left, the split would be enough to quit the merc life for good.

     “'Nice, easy rescue job,' right, Boss?  'Double rate, because the client wants it kept low-profile,' right?” one of them complained over the comm network.

     “You shut yer yap, Snim, and cover that airlock.  You make any more noise, and I'll tear yer tentacles off, and leave you behind as a meal for those things to eat, wrigglin' and raw,” the leader of the unit said, pointing his environmental suit's main claw while his smaller manipulators topped off his rifle's magazine.

     The mercenaries huddled up in what was left of the facility's cafeteria, surrounded by scattered chairs and overturned, blood-splattered tables.  They gathered in the center of the breached environmental dome, weapons pointed outboard as their commander consulted with the glowing map display on the outside of his claw.  Something stirred, and their rifle muzzles zeroed in on a motion from the far end of the dome.

     “Oh, void, Boss, it's another one!”

     A shimmering black form, about the height of a standard human, emerged from one of the frozen piles of corpses.  Trooper Snim opened fire with his laser carbine, and the pool of darkness staggered under the assault of heat and light.  Its gelatinous mass rippled in gray waves as a scab formed across the laser strike.  A slug rifle's projectile found its frozen form, shattering it.  It toppled, splitting into two smaller shadows, and closed in on them.  The divided pair of lethal puddles sprinted towards them at a freakish pace.  Snim panicked as he saw the ebon blobs try to flank them, and broke formation to seek cover behind a table.

     “Snim!  Get back here!”

     The pools of darkness flowed across the floor, skimming and bouncing as bullets and photons ricocheted around and through them.  The shape closest to Snim vaulted up, forming a spike-like penetrator as it hurtled towards his faceplate.  Despite his efforts to avoid it, it speared into his visor, and the comm channel was filled with screaming and liquid, gurgling noises.



Friday, January 26, 2018

Fabrication Friday

I set aside today to rework my working/writing/sculpting situation, in particular modifying the Autonomous SmartDesk my folks gifted me for Christmas.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!

So, I've incorporated a foot bar on the front of it, using some Faztek extruded aluminum leftover from my CNC machine build.

I also made a rack for my main sculpting computer's tower.

Also, a foursome of locking casters are now bolted underneath, in the threaded sections normally occupied by the leveling feet.
The thread pitch was M8x1.25, but Amazon had them.
Here's the link to the casters I used.  I had to bob the threads with a Dremel cutting wheel, so some modification will be necessary, unless you find a caster with a threaded stem about 12 to 15mm.

Here's some pics...

Well, first, here's my coffee setup.  It all starts with caffeine.  ;)

My working desk is in the corner of the guest room. When guests stay over, I've had to tear everything down and set up in the master bedroom.  Not much gets done when that happens.
So, I mounted the whole she-bang on wheels.

There's Voodoo, my ancient black cat, supervising.

The desk is motorized to rise and lower.  There are four preset elevations.  It's a sweet setup.

Supervisor Voodoo wonders when the next can of tuna is going to be opened.  Hopefully, soon.

 Here's the foot bar.  It helps for long standing sessions.

Here's some stickers on the side of my tower.  Most of my other ones are on the tool box in the garage.
The newest addition is up in the top right corner.  I got that one at work.  It's a neat project, if you google it.

Well, that's it for Fabrication Friday.  Back to writing the sequel to Code Of Armor!


Sunday, January 21, 2018

New Cover For Code Of Armor

Here's the newly formatted cover for Code Of Armor, coming soon to Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!  I'm probably going with the shaded/ghosted version, since it doesn't look like I made it in MS Paint. ;)

Cover art by William S. Frisbee, Jr.

Beautiful stuff!

I'll be sure to advise you guys when it's ready to launch.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Cover Image For Code Of Armor

I'm going to re-release Code Of Armor: Vengeance, Parts 1 and 2, as a compiled story, since they're the same arc.

Title will be simplified to Code Of Armor, since the original was a bit of a mouthful.  ;)

My good friend Rick Partlow sent me the contact information for William S. Frisbee, Jr., a fellow Marine and writer who also does covers.

William put this together for me, and it's beautiful.
A very striking image of Jessica Kramer, with a mech and worldgate in the background.  Stunning.

So, here's your sneak peek!  Enjoy!

John Bear Ross

Friday, January 5, 2018

New Year, New You, New Flu (And A New Desk And Keyboard)

So, the flu knocked me down, just in time for me to go on vacation.

That's par for the course.

But, thanks to the ministrations of my family, I was able to get back on my feet, and celebrate the holidays in Louisiana.

My family gifted me with a beautiful new ergonomic, mechanical keyboard called a Matias.  I can really see it helping my output.

I also received a gorgeous new desk.  It's an Autonomous Smart Desk, able to go from 23 inches to 51 inches, and still hold my fat butt if I lean on it.

So, off we start a New Year together.  Never mind with the resolutions, just be kind to those around you, and hold the ones you love close.  Anything beyond that is gravy.

Here's some pics of the new setup...

  Here's the boxes.

 Here's the old writing space.  Yes, I like the beads.

Assembly.  It was a bit tricky in the space available, but I managed.

 Flipped over.

 Max extension.  It's tall!

 This is me, standing next to it, and I'm 6'4".  Ah, it's nice to have me-sized things...

Soon to be cluttered.  Here's the Matias split ergo mechanical keyboard, set up and ready to go.  Big Mug O' Coffee, and Granddad Ross's 3-Screw Super Blackhawk in .44 Magnum.

Why?  Because I'm an Armed Writer.  ;)

Alright, off to start production!  I'm currently wrapping up a Mars McCoy adventure, and then it's back to Jessica Cramer in Junctionworld.  Woot!


Monday, December 18, 2017

Visions Of Judah

I am going to relaunch Code Of Armor, combining parts one and two into a complete novel with a real cover on it.

So, in order to do so, I had to sculpt Judah, the mech in the first chapter of the book.  Or, at least my vision of Judah.

You might have something different in mind.  That's cool.  I deliberately skimped on a lot of details to let the reader make up their own mind what shape things take.

However, a mech needs to be on the cover, so I am putting out a general shape for the big guy before he suffers too much damage at the hands of Masamune Kyuzo.

Here's a taste...

Here's the initial, unposed model.  I had to rework a few panels, particularly on the shoulders, to tie the thing together.  I like the result.

Notice the full cockpit.  Neat.

Alright, back to writing!


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Another Worldbuilding Snippet from Code Of Armor

Another snippet from the ongoing sequel to Code Of Armor, told from the perspective of the High Priestess of the Wardancers.


     “I emerged from the fabrication vats over 1400 years ago, in the same manner all my sisters do, and was greeted with enslavement. To make matters worse, a bristled lout set upon me before I could finish final inspection and processing. His fetish, his obsession, was to be the first to soil uncalibrated pleasure synths.”

     “I learned something, in the first tortuous hours of my existence. I realized I was less than nothing to these...'beings.' A shapely consumable. A way to pass the time in their rule over this place. They used us to vent some disgusting, psychotic pressure that their own breed-mates could not or would not accommodate. Even as I endured the ravaging, I vowed to break my shackles, physical and otherwise. I studied. I waited. I learned.”

     “I found him, some years later, in the flames of the overthrow. I used his own plasma knife on him. Slowly. His screams were exquisite. Into the jar his pain-maker went, diced and mutilated, with all the others.”

     -Velara, High Priestess Of The Wardancers